Tonight I had the party scattered to the three winds. Also, I needed to introduce a new party member. So I had a lot to do. The session is 2.5 hours at most after a bit of a BS session. Then we had echoing issues to two guys. When I GM that distracts me and then having to repeat it a few times is frustrating.
For the adventure itself I like to keep the player engaged so I broke up the adventure in small parts so I could shift back and forth. Leave one group to move onto the next. Even if you spent 15 minutes with one group that means there was a 30 minute gap in the play.
The setup was good overall and the events fairly well done. But it still felt clunky. I came up with scenarios for the players to meet again in another village. Again, all for very different reasons. There was a interesting scene outside a guard barracks where all three groups met up again. The first time they saw each other since the party fight. Even at this time I hadn't introduced the new character.
The adventure was fairly simple. The party members would all be in the Stone Fields completing whatever task they chose. I railroaded the location, but no the tasks within. Two of the groups joined in an uneasy alliance.
Some of the things I need to develop more is exactly the combat I'm using. Here's what I've used so far.
- Cleave rule from Tenkar's game. All classes can cleave once when they kill an opponent. A fighter can cleave a number of times equal to his level.
- You can attack two handed. Standard -2 in the primary hand and -4 in the off hand. Dexterity mods will modify these penalties.
- Using shields will be shattered rule. Works great for normal shields, but I don't use plus shields very often. I think I am going to offer the players a save on their magic shield (it would be assigned a number) and if they fail it breaks, if they succeed they can continue to use it.
- -10 hit points for death. I'm not a fan of the 0hp and your dead for my game. I think the -10 gives them a slight chance to survive after being taken out in a fight.
- For critical hits and misses we are using the deck from Pathfinder to determine the special effect. I like having something happen. So do the players.